Thursday, November 29, 2007

Diner Blues by Ed Galing


used to be
i would go to
this diner
not far from
my house
and have a
lunch or breakfast
and my wife
would be sitting
across from me
and it felt
just like it
should be when
you got some
buddy with you
to enjoy life
like it should be,
but just when you
get to know what
its all about,
its over
kids gone
wife gone
you wonder why
you are still here.

so now i sit alone
and watch the
young couple in
another booth
she smiles
her eyes are gray
i can see them
because i am right
in back of them
and she is facing me
and looking at me...

i feel like crying
i want to make love to her
i drink my coffee
and keep my thoughts
to myself.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Old Age is Not for Sissies by Ed Galing

Old Age is Not for Sissies
By Ed Galing
50 pages at $5 paperback
Peerless Press
3435 Mill Rd.
Hatboro PA 19040

The venerable Poet Laureate of Hatboro PA is still plugging away creating chapbooks, submitting poetry to journals, and grabbing life by the lapels. From the retrospective of nine decades, Galing’s poetry cuts to the heart of life and living. In this chapbook he addresses the vicissitudes of aging and fondly turns the pages of his life with an occasional bit of help from his cartoon friend, Sadie the Psychic. Always, Ed Galing looks at life with humor and acceptance.

“Longevity” commemorates centenarians introduced by Willard Scott on TV. Galing enjoys the show, and wonders if he’ll make it to age 100:

…then my knee starts
to hurt

as I head into the
kitchen for a cup
of coffee and an

In “A Bit of Philosophy” Galing contemplates life, love, happiness, sorrow, and wonders if his poetry makes any kind of impression on anyone. Before poem’s end, he gives himself and his readers a mental shaking:

Hell, it ain’t easy getting old…
it ain’t for sissies…

now stop your sniveling, and wipe your nose!
and eat your farina!

“So, Where are We, Anyway?” is an amazing poem, simple and powerful and typical Galing:

growing old
might grey your hair
and bend your back

but need not erase
a bright smile on your

and the gentle fond
remembrance of the days
when your life was full
of sunshine, beaches, parties,
love, laughter and adventures.

growing old
only makes you
stop wasting your days.

I’m always delighted to find a new Ed Galing chapbook in my mailbox. I read his work and hope with each new book, hope some publisher will see the lifetime of grit and joy on every page, as I do. If it were in my power, a publishing contract would be Ed Galing’s Christmas miracle this year.

Review by Laurel Johnson for Midwest Book Review